Another 183 Illegal Boat Migrants Land in UK, Patel Vows to Reform ‘Broken’ System Yet Again

DOVER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Migrants arrive at Dover Marina after being rescued in the English Channel by the Border Force on September 11, 2020 in Dover, England. More than 1,468 migrants, some of them children, crossed the English Channel by small boat in August, despite a commitment from British …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Illegal boat migration to England hit a new high on Tuesday with 183 migrants being brought ashore at the port of Dover, as Home Secretary Priti Patel promised changes to the “broken” asylum system yet again.

As a recent spat of rough conditions in the English Channel subsided, a wave of illegal migrants set off in small boats from France, with the 183 successful arrivals on Tuesday making it the busiest day of the year, up from a previous high of 115.

The BBC’s Simon Jones noted that the number of arrivals nearly matched the total number of illegal crossings during the entire month of March last year, which stood at 187.

A further 10 illegals had landed on Sunday, with French authorities blocking 98 migrants, the Daily Mail reports.

According to analysis by the paper, some 275 boat migrants have reached Britain this month alone, with approximately 806 arriving since the start of the year — far outpacing last year’s banner year, which saw around 8,500 illegals enter the country, despite promises the crisis would finally be resolved with the end of the Brexit “transition” period in January.

On Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel will introduce a range of asylum system reforms intended to fix the nation’s “broken” asylum system and deter further illegal immigration.

The proposals will see migrants who travelled through safe countries, such as France, subject to “boomerang” deportation in as little as 24 hours, it is claimed.

It is unclear, however, how the government intends to accomplish this, as the United Kingdom has yet to secure any deal on migrant returns with the European Union or any individual member-state of the bloc, and has been consistently unwilling to simply turn boats back unilaterally.

“Under our New Plan for Immigration, if people arrive illegally they will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally, and it will be harder for them to stay,” Patel claimed in comments to The Sun.

“If, like over 60 per cent of illegal arrivals, they have travelled through a safe country like France to get here, they will not have immediate entry into the asylum system – which is what happens today.

“I make no apology for these actions being firm, but as they will also save lives and target people-smugglers, they are also undeniably fair,” she insisted.

Under the proposed changes to the immigration system — which are set to become law under the government’s planned Sovereign Borders Bill this autumn — asylum seekers who enter the United Kingdom through unofficial channels will only be granted “temporary protection status”.

All this means is that their status in Britain will be under review for removal at least every 30 months and that they will be prevented from gaining British citizenship.

The plan will also curtail so-called family reunion (chain migration) rights and bar most migrants from receiving financial support from the government. Only genuine refugees — those fleeing actual warzones or who have applied for asylum through official means — will be eligible for indefinite leave to remain.

The Home Secretary did caution, however, that “this will take time and I’ll be very honest with the British people about this, there’s no one quick fix, this is not a short term, this is for the long term.”

Why the government could not simply pass legislation empowering the authorities to turn boats back at sea or indefinitely detain illegal arrivals until their asylum claims are processed and deportations arranged was not explained.

Patel also said that the government will seek to punish lawyers who launch last-minute and often baseless deportation appeals, bogging down the asylum system.

She said that it “is simply not right that they are preventing us from removing murderers and rapists, some of the most awful individuals that have participated in terrible criminality in the United Kingdom. So this will lead to a fundamental change.”

“Their usual business right now is supporting basically criminality and people-smuggling and all the while people are dying. We can simply not carry on with the system as it is.”

In response to the proposed changes to the immigration system, the executive director of Migration Watch UK, Dr Ben Greening told Breitbart London: “The Home Secretary’s renewed commitment to tackling the growing abuse of our overwhelmed asylum system is welcome and she has mass public support.

“We only caution about the danger of raising up hopes about effective action and then failing to deliver. It is essential that the changes do what they say on the tin and are backed up by much better enforcement than we’ve seen in recent years, including a reversal in the declining number of removals.”

Brexit champion Nigel Farage expressed doubt about the proposed changes, writing on social media: “Yet more tough talk from Priti Patel in her immigration statement,” questioning: “Where will she deport illegal migrants to? Why did she not mention we are still in the [European Convention on Human Rights]?”

“Nothing is going to change,” Farage pronounced. 

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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